WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by Republican lawmakers, celebrated Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the South Lawn of the White House on December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UPDATED 3:30 PM PT – Tuesday, January 12, 2021
147 members of Congress stood in opposition of blindly certifying the presidential election results last week. Now, they all are facing fierce financial backlash for their attempt to bring transparency to an election cycle plagued by doubt.
The number of companies imposing their own penalties on these lawmakers grew on Monday. The list now includes Ford, American Airlines and Google, who all said they will temporarily suspend all political donations to both Democrats and Republicans alike.
Additionally, Best Buy announced they were temporarily stopping their donations to Republican lawmakers. Energy company GE’s donation suspension will last through the next election cycle before it will then consider requests for support on a “case-by-case basis.” Chemical giant DOW announced it would withhold funds for select Republican lawmakers’ entire terms in office, up to six years for those in the Senate.
While a majority of the retaliatory efforts are targeted and within the realm of political discourse, a few sanctions have encroached into personal territory.
On Monday, the PGA of America announced it was stripping the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster of the 2022 PGA Championship, following a vote by its Board of Directors.
Hours later, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews followed suit, saying it would not stage any championships at the Trump-owned Turnberry golf course in Scotland for the foreseeable future. In their reasoning, the golf club said they didn’t want the current circumstances to overshadow the focus of the championship, namely the players and the course.
Turnberry, which President Trump purchased in 2014, has been the home of four previous open championships. A representative for the Trump Organization said it was “incredibly disappointed” with the PGA’s decision.
Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) went so far as to say some Republicans, namely Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), belong on the “no fly list.” Thompson said he was “not ashamed” of his suggestion to add the two Republicans to a list most notably full of terrorists and other national security threats.
The backlash didn’t stop with the lawmakers. A group of pro-Trump protesters were threatened by an American Airlines pilot who took issue with their attire. An unidentified passenger of the flight posted a video over the weekend, claiming the pilot, who can be heard threatening to remove passengers, was upset due to the group wearing MAGA hats.
“This is the way it’s gonna be. Um, it’s a four-and-a-half-hour flight out to Phoenix,” the pilot said over the plane’s loudspeaker. “We’ll put this plane down in the middle of Kansas and dump people off. I don’t care, we will do that if that’s what it takes. So behave, please.”
American Airlines later released a statement regarding the incident, claiming the pilot’s commands were not political, but simply an attempt to stress the importance of listening to the instructions of the crew members.
Despite the imposition of financial penalties, Republicans have already begun fundraising efforts for the midterms to show that lack of corporate support will not be detrimental to their goal of taking back Congress.